Maha Shivratri – The night of awakening
Maha Shivratri is one of the most important festival celebrated in India as well as in Nepal. It is celebrated on the 14th night during the waxing phase of the Hindu month Phalguna that falls in the month (Feburary- March). In this festival Hindus offer special prayer to the lord Shiva, the God of destruction.
In 2015, it will be celebrated on 17th February. The best time to offer prayers and chant mantras is 18:08 to 21:21. The people who are keeping fast must break it on the next day at 07:01 to 09:03.
Many Legends are associated with Maha Shivratri
According to Hindu Mythology, Goddess ParvatiParvati
After the death of Shiva's first love Sati, Shiva... had a severe penance to have Lord ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... as her husband. Goddess Parvati’s mother, MenakaMenaka
In Hindu mythology, Menaka, or Menka is considered one of the most beautiful of the heavenly Apsaras... saw Lord Shiva, she fell unconscious. When she saw Lord Shiva, he had three eyes, five faces and ten arms. He had smeared his body with ashes and his forehead was adorned by the moon. He was dressed in a tiger’s skin and a garland of skulls hung around his neck. He was riding on the bull. He was surrounded by the group of people with fierce faces. No wonder if there was any other mother in the place Manaka, would not agree to marry her dear daughter to such a person. Menuka when regained her consciousness said that she could kill her daughter Parvati, but she would never agree to marry her daughter Parvati to Lord Shiva. Lord VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. tried to pacify Manaka Scientific name of this tree is Leptospermum scoparium and is a flowering tree. Honey can be produced from the nectar of its flowers. Oils are also made from the same.but his efforts went in vain. Later, God NaradaNarada
Narada, also popularly known as Narada Muni, is a great Vedic sage and is one of the most significant and iconic characters of the Hindus. requested Lord Shiva to appear in his beautiful form. Once Lord Shiva appeared in his beautiful form, his body had a glitter that was equivalent to the shine of million of suns and his clothes embedded with gems had such a luster that stars were feeling embarrassed. Everyone was enamored with his most beautiful form and Manuka realized her mistake and happily agreed to marry her daughter on the day of Maha Shivratri.
According to another legend that once Gods and Demon decided to churn the ocean with the help of Mount Mandara as the churning rod, and the shiva’s serpent, vasuki He is one of the king serpents, given high privilege in Hindu mythology. He is depicted with a gem on his head. He is the snake of Lord Shiva and the brother of another snake named Manasa. He is the jewel of Shiva and sits around his neck. He was blessed by Shiva and thus given an important status. He was one of the main participants in the churning of the ocean. He was used as the churning rope and his one end was held by the demons and the other by Gods. His face was at the demons side and thus they were affected by his venom.
as the churning rope. During churning many treasures were being emerged which were divided between Gods and Demons. Gods and Demons were still churning the ocean when poison emerged then neither Gods were ready to take nor demons.At that time Lord Shiva drank the poison and saved the world from devastation.When Goddess Parvati came to know about it, she kept hand towards the Lord Shiva’s neck so that it would not enter into his body. Due to this position where Lord Shiva could not spit poison outside and Goddess Parwati was not allowing him to swallow poison that turned Lord Shiva’s throat blue.He came to be known as 'Neelkantha' that literally means blue neck.
According to yet another legend that on the night of Mahashivratri Lord Shiva performed the Tandava, It is the divine and vigorous dance of Shiva. It represents the cycle of creation, preservation and destruction. Tandava is also of two types i.e., Rudra Tandava, which depicts his violent nature and Ananda Tandava, which depicts Shiva enjoying his dance. It is majorly performed in the states of South India, which has vigorous and brisk movements. According to scriptures, Shiva have performed Tandav many times but one of the most important incidence was when Sati jumped into the sacrificial fire and killed herself and Shiva performed Rudra Tandava to show his anger and grief.
the dance of preservation, sustenance and destruction.
Importance of Maha Shivratri.
It is believed that the people who fast on this night and offer prayers to Lord Shiva bring good luck into their life. If anyone wants to catch the fervor of the festivity then he or she must visit Ujjain. According to Hindu epics, Ujjain is place of abode of Lord Shiva. Large processions are carried out throughout the city, ith people assemble in huge number to catch a glimpse of the revered idol of Lord Shiva. Now the similar possessions are carried in many parts of India such as Delhi, Uttaraknand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
Maha Shivratri is also considered special as it has spiritual significance. It is the time when the northern hemisphere of the Earth is positioned in such a way that there is a natural flow of spiritual energy in a human being.
This day gives us the message that we all could see each other as the child of the same cosmic energy. We all must understand that there is the need of changing the thought process from the negativity to positivity There is a need to change our attitude from selfishness to selflessness.
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